Chapter 25: Enemies are everywhere
"How was your date?" Sofia asks, wiggling her eyebrows and giggling at me as Gia rolls her eyes. "I heard Luca and Rafael talking about how he bought and revamped a restaurant by the Hudson and named it after you."
"It was a beautiful restaurant," I comment, still dazed from our date yesterday.
I don't know who's attending the party, but I think it's an event I have to get out of. I can't keep this up though, even avoiding this party this time. At some point, being with Enzo means meeting his father, again.
"I can't wait for this party tonight," Gia announces with a big grin.
"Why?" I ask.
"Because Sofia and I will be serving the party and there are always hot guys at these things," she replies.
"Who gets invited?"
"Obviously the family. I heard he's inviting all of the gang leaders and bosses in the city like normal. We don't really know."
I spend the rest of my day in the library, immersed in the new books Enzo bought me. He joins me later in the day, settling me in his lap, taking the book from my hands and reading to me. He loves control, but his control is sweeter now. It's because he actually cares.
"I'm tired," I tell him, swiveling around in his lap so I straddle him. His eyes flicker to my lips as he brushes a piece of hair behind my ear.
"We've got the party tonight. It's important for you to be there."
"Why?" I question.
"Because you're my girlfriend. And I need you there." I would be ecstatic that he called me his girlfriend if it wasn't for the fact that he is telling me I have to go to this party. "Don't worry. I'll protect you. No one would dare touch you." He must have noticed my fearful expression so he presses his lips against mine, forcing me to give into him as my body usually does. I still can't go to that party. Or maybe I can convince his father not to say anything. Not yet. He always wanted the match between Enzo and I, and it wasn't arranged. Maybe he'll go for that.
We move to the bedroom and get ready for the party. Enzo hands me a stunning silver glittery dress that ends mid-thigh and form-fitting. It has a low back and lots of straps. Enzo places his hands on my hips from behind me after I've put it on, and then dangles a sparkly necklace around my neck with a blue jewel. He kisses my bare neck and shoulder as we stare out the window at the guests piling in.
And then I see him. Alfonso. My uncle. The uncle who wants me dead. I immediately tense and I know he can feel it too as he looks over my shoulder.
"Bambina, you're safe with me." No, no I'm not. I don't know what to do. I thought I could convince Tony to not say anything but Alfonso will have me gunned down on the spot, regardless of whether Enzo is there or not.
I whip my head around, facing Enzo with a worried expression, but he kisses my lips, trying to reassure me.
"Stop worrying, gattina," he orders, his hands sliding down my arms.
"I can't go down there," I declare. Am I really gonna do this? I have no choice.
He scoffs and grips my wrists. "Don't make a scene, gattina. Not again. We're going down there and there is nothing you can do."
"Please don't. I don't want to go," I beg but it seems to make him mad as he slams me up against the wall, his body pinning me to it.
"I told you not to make a scene. You want to disobey me?"
"Enzo, I-I can't-" He grips my jaw and squeezes.
"I thought we were doing well. No one will touch you, I assured you that. What the fuck is wrong with you?" he questions, his hot breath fanning my face in rage. I whimper as he body presses me further into the wall, almost like he wants to send me through it.
"Enzo, I can't."
"Why not?" he grits out, his jaw clenching.
"Because I'll be dead." His expression turns to confusion as he stares at me. "Your dad, he'll recognize me. And so will Alfonso Moretti. He'll have me killed on sight."
"Why would he recognize you?"
"Because my full name is Isabella... Moretti," I mutter, avoiding his eyes. But his hand on my jaw tightens, his nails digging into my chin.
"You're lying," he states but there's a hint of doubt in his voice, a waver.
"I'm sorry. You kidnapped me and I didn't know how to tell you. I thought you would kill me if you knew and then you told me you were falling in love with me, and then I didn't know how you would react if you knew," I blurt out, tears streaming down my face as I look at the absolute disgust and outrage in his eyes. He pulls me off the wall by the jaw and smashes me against it again, my back now aching.
"You're fucking lying to me. You are not... you can't be my enemy's family. I let you into my home, into my life. Into my fucking heart. Tell me you're lying," he commands but it sounds almost as though he is begging for it not to be true. Silence plagues the air as I struggle for words and he releases me to the ground. "You're coming to that party. And I'm going to use you as leverage against Moretti. He'll want his niece back."
"That might work," I mumble, looking up to him from the ground. "But it'll kill me." He bends down with a bitter scowl on his face.
"Why's that, gattina?"
"Because Alfonso Moretti wants me dead," I answer, scrunching my knees to my chest as I sit against the wall.
"Why?" he questions, although in a curious tone this time.
"Because I killed his brother, my father, Christian Moretti." This makes his whole expression change. He narrows his eyes at me in disbelief and scoffs.
"It was like I said, only I didn't find him dead. I came down in the afternoon after I had been sleeping. I was slapped around the day before quite badly. I had bruises all over my body. His back was to me in the kitchen, his gun was on the counter next to me. He would never think I would dare try anything. And normally I wouldn't. The place was surrounded by guards, every escape closed. But I didn't care. In that moment, I would risk everything to just have what I wanted, to see him dead and finally be free of him. And then I shot him." His mouth gapes slightly as he listens to me. He falls back from his crouch position to sitting. "Alfonso must have seen me trying to get away, and there was no one else in the house. He sent everyone on alert. I was almost away, surprisingly, when one of the guys I've known my whole life grabbed my arm. But he let me go, so I could live. I ran for hours. But I had nothing. I had no one. I met J, the son of the owner of that diner. Him and Harry gave me a job, and found me an apartment. I just wanted to be free. But then you took me and I was back in all of it again."
I crawl over to him and he watches me cautiously.
"This isn't some plot, I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm a scared girl who has been abused my whole life. I've worked so hard, fought so hard, to survive. I just... I didn't know why I was fighting so hard for something that seemed so unrealistic. But now I have you. Your dad, he told me that you wouldn't hurt me, that you would give me a better life than I had. Please don't send me down there," I plead, grabbing his hand. He immediately snatches his hand away.
He then gets up and pulls me up with him. Tossing me onto the bed, he towers over me, staring me down. He lifts my chin up roughly and locks his eyes with mine.
"You're gonna stay here and when I get back, I'll decide whether I'll kill you or not," he growls and storms out of the room, slamming the door behind him. I let out a small sigh of relief, although whilst I'm still breathing for now, I might not be later. At least it's out now, I guess. There are no secrets between me and him. I'm honestly in love with him, as difficult as that makes everything. Especially now that he'll hate me. I'm the daughter and niece of his enemies. I was also his fiance. A fiance he never wanted though. What will he decide?